Guest Post – Candice & “The Road to Boston”

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that when I started running, and started running marathons, I never ever thought that I could run fast enough to qualify for Boston.  It was an unattainable dream for me.  And then you’ll remember that I ran my third marathon in a 3:35:51 on a VERY hard course.  And you’ll remember that I learned the hard way that marathon courses are always long, and even though you have a buffer, when a race measures 42.66, you’re going to be over the time cutoffs.  A 22 minute PR, and yet, a bittersweet and tearful end to the race.  A dream that I never thought was attainable, magically (through hard work and dedication to training) then ripped out of my hands in the last 5 minutes.  It was a tough spring for me,  and my body just can’t handle road marathons the way some people (like Candice) can.

This post isn’t about my journey, because although I was close, there’s no close in Boston.  You either qualify, or you don’t.  And even if you do qualify, you’re not guaranteed to get to actually go and race.  This post is about how Candice, who I am so blessed to have randomly met through Twitter a few years back, not only qualified for Boston last spring, but took a big bite out of her PR, and killed the Run For Water Marathon.

Some might think I’d be bitter over as close friend qualifying right in front of me.  But, surprisingly, all I felt that day was extremely proud, and happy for my friend.  I knew Candice had trained hard, I knew she had pushed herself out of her perceived limits, and I knew she deserved her time.  Yes, tears came to my eyes as I saw her come through the finishing chute, but they weren’t sad tears, they were happy tears, if it couldn’t be me, she’s the next best thing.  And I can’t wait to cheer her on and support her from afar on April 18th.

So, here’s her post, on her “Road to Boston”.

Continue reading

2014 Race Schedule

I’m still working on everything I’ve got planned for 2014, but I’m looking forward to some fun new and old races, and my calendar is definitely filling up with SO many great races locally.

I know I’ll be adding more fun events to 2014, but here’s the basics that are can’t miss and already penciled in, or even registered!  Races in BOLD are for sures, everything else is tentative.

I’m not racing at all in January, I like taking most of December/January off to relax, and give my body a rest from all the racing I like to do during the rest of the year.

Sunday February 2nd – Icebreaker 8K – super enjoyed this one last year with Nikki.  And sounds like myself, Nikki, and Cath are going to be running it this year.  Great little local race if anyone wants to join us??

Sunday February 16th – Vancouver First Half – a Vancouver road running staple, and I know tons of people running it!  I’m going for a fast road half PR on this one!  Let’s wait and see how January speed training goes before announcing a goal!

Continue reading

Whidbey Island Party

I’m not sure if I ever actually told you guys, but I decided to run the Whidbey Island Marathon like I did this spring (2013) again in 2014.  You probably remember, this marathon was a bittersweet 22 minute PR for me.  I ran it officially in 3:35:51, and if you’re a road runner, you know that to qualify for Boston, I needed a 3:35:00.

This was also the day before the Boston Marathon bombings.

To say the least, it was an emotional couple of days.

I’m going back to Whidbey for the 2014 race.  But this time, it’s going to be different.


Continue reading

On a scale of 1-10, How Crazy Are YOU?

Recently there’s been lots of talk of “crazy” in regards to the number of races, the number of km’s run, the number of consecutive days run, the hours spent training, just about any quantity based measure of running.

What I think is crazy, you may find to be normal, and what I think is normal, someone else may find crazy.  It all comes down to having your own level, what’s crazy to you.

Personally, my crazy tolerance level just keeps going higher and higher.  What I thought crazy just a year ago, is normal now, and what I thought impossible a year ago, is a goal to accomplish in the next 6 months.

There is no real reason to this post, and I kind of feel like I’m re-stating the obvious, but really, everyone needs to not compare their crazy to someone else’s crazy, because it’s unique to yourself, and I’m a prime example of crazy levels changing.

Let’s look back, shall we??

Continue reading

Surrey International Music Marathon – Blogger Ambassador

Last year, I was lucky enough to be included as a Blogger Ambassador for the inaugural 2012 Surrey International Music Marathon where both mom and I ran the half marathon.  This race holds a very special place for me for multiple reasons :

  • it was the first half marathon I’ve ever run solely for fun, without any time pressures or stresses, and I absolutely loved the race, and came out with a great time, a PR at the time!
  • it was my mom’s first ever half marathon!  And she killlllled it!
  • it was the race where I met Nikki in person, which started our twitter to real life friendship

Other than these personal reasons, the race itself was very convenient via skytrain for my family, my Dad was able to run the 5km race, and overall it was a great event.  The crowd support lining the streets was surprising and very uplifting and inspiring for me.

Recently, I was asked to come back for a 2nd year of the event, and I wasn’t sure if the race really fit into my calendar.

So, what’d I say?

Yes, of course!  Even though I’ll be running mainly on trails this summer, this event was so much fun last year, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to be involved again.

I’ll be running the half again this year, and if you’re looking for a local half or full marathon at the end of September, keep this in mind!  All information on registering can be found here.

The reason I’m telling you this now, so far in advance, is that the marathon is actually holding a kick off to summer event tomorrow morning which includes free fitness classes, free breakfast, an appearance from Trever Linden, AND registration discounts for participants!!


All the details for tomorrow can be found here.

If you’re interested, you can read mine and mom’s race recaps from last year.

Is anyone else running the Surrey International Music Marathon in 2013??  Thinking about it??



Month of May – Training Recap

June????  JUNE!!!  Well shoot, where did May go?

Total Road KMs : 90.75 kms

Total Trail KMs : ~112.75 kms (more than road for the first time in 2013!!)

Total KMs this month : 203.5 kms

Total KM’s this year : 1107 kms

Hours running :  16 ish

Cross-training hours (Spinning, Grinds, Strength training) : 10 hours including 1 Bikram Yoga class

# of Grinds : 3 – opened the 11th of May this year :)

How’s my month been?

Insane.  Super fun filled fast paced month, it’s been a whirlwind, but almost all positive craziness!

Continue reading

BMO Vancouver Marathon – DNF – Partial Race Recap

Sigh, it would be really easy to ignore my 7th race of the year.  But, that’s not why I started this blog, and I have never ignored the negatives to focus on the positives.  Our running journeys are made up of good times and bad times, and we need to accept and embrace them all.

Besides, running a local marathon means that you’re connected to so many others out there, and that was definitely the case for me.  I can feel sad for myself, but I can’t ignore all of my friends and family that were out in there in the sun, doing what they love (or hate?)  Congrats to everyone who ran on Sunday, and to everyone who finished a tough race!


Spoiler alert :  I did not finish.  I mentally pulled out around 15 kms, and actually left the course around 26.5 kms.  Since I didn’t finish, does it still count as a race? 

Continue reading

Marathon Weekend – Saturday

Friday was such a great day, it’s hard to top that right?

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong…

I woke up on Saturday morning, and I had a sweet message from Bart about how nice it was meeting mom and I, and how he’d be waiting at the finish line for me on Sunday.  What a guy, eh?

It was a gorgeous day in Vancouver, and I caught a ride downtown with Krista and Nikki.  We were heading to the Expo to pick up Krista’s packet, and then we had plans to meet a couple of other lady runner bloggers for lunch.


After receiving that thoughtful message from Bart, I decided to throw out an invite to join us for our blogger lunch to him.  I figured, he’s not from Vancouver, we’re headed right next door to the Expo, and if he’s not booked, well maybe he’d like some friends to eat lunch with.

Any guesses on what he said?

Continue reading

Marathon Weekend – Friday

Friday morning myself, momma, and Nikki had the opportunity to volunteer and help out at the Elites media lunch.  Mom and I had helped out last year, and really enjoyed the experience, so we jumped at the chance to help out again.

The big bonus of this year, was that I knew Bart Yasso was going to be at this luncheon, and involved in some of the media panel.  I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to meet someone who’s inspired me so much in my running journey.

Spoiler: I did get to meet Bart, and he not only met, but exceeded expectations on how wonderful of a person he is.


Continue reading


This week, and this weekend in particular has been insanely busy, and I haven’t had even 5 minutes to sit down and write up a pre-marathon post.  So, all I’ll say, is I’m going for it tomorrow, leaving it all out on the Vancouver course, and hoping to crush it, with a Boston Qualifying time of sub 3:35.


Hubs will be live tweeting out how I’m doing, via my twitter – @solanaleigh using #BeastModeBQ – feel free to keep tabs on me.  Even better, if you are in Vancouver, come out and cheer.  I’ll be wearing my hot pink & yellow Beast Mode tank top, and I’ll be running 5:02/kms.  Marathon map can be found here.

Here goes nothing.

Beast Mode ON.